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Rising Sea Levels Could Make Assateague Island Disappear

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The wild ponies of Assateague Island are at risk from rising levels of seawater.
Sarah Stierche: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahvain/6936614592/
The wild ponies of Assateague Island are at risk from rising levels of seawater.

Global climate change and sea level rise could cause some of the East Coast's most beloved and visited National Parks to disappear in 100 years. This, according to a new report released this week by the National Resources Defense Council.

The report entitled America's National Seashores in Peril (pdf), paints a dire picture of what barrier islands like Assateague Island National Seashore on Maryland's Eastern Shore will look like in a century.

Basically, the beautiful beaches of Assateague and it's famous wild horses will be swallowed entirely by the rising Atlantic Ocean.

Other coastal destinations like New York's Fire Island, North Carolina's Cape Hatteras, and Cape Cod in New England all are said to be very vulnerable and will face the same fate of disappearance as Assateague does, if something isn't done to curb the changing climate, sea level rise, and the intense storms that continue to threaten these fragile coastal ecosystems.

More than 11 million people visit the parks listed in the report annually, and the parks employ more than 8,000 people and contribute about a half a billion dollars to our nation's economy.

NPR

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